Ayşe Gülcan Özbalak was born in Istanbul in 1966. She graduated from the Department of Arabic Language and Literature. She completed her illumination (tezhip) courses, which she began taking from Nilüfer Kurfeyz in 1986, and received a graduation certificate from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Nawaar Abdus-Salam is the MANAGING DIRECTOR at Deen Arts Foundation. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Dallas. As a manager, Nawaar will be facilitating community planning and projects, as well as supporting and enhancing students’ learning experiences. Nawaar is also a student of Calligraphy and Tezhip under the master calligrapher Shahryanshah Sirajuddin and master illumination artist Fatma Ulusoy Sirajuddin.
Aminah Kandil is an Australian-born native speaker of Arabic and English. In 2005, she traveled abroad to study classical Arabic intensively at the Qasid Institute in Jordan; and during a further 13 years in the Middle East, she sat with traditional scholars of the Mauritanian and Levantine traditions in the Islamic sacred sciences. She now lives in North Texas with her family, where she translates and moderates for Deen Arts Foundation and studies the Chinese style of Arabic calligraphy with Hajji Noor Deen.
Zulfar Tofie Samodien is the course facilitator for Master Calligrapher Haji Noor Deen’s classes at Deen Arts Foundation. A passionate student of the Quran, Arabic Language, and Arabic Calligraphy scripts, she is a graduate of the Darun Na’im Institute of Higher Islamic Learning in Cape Town, South Africa.
Besides her love for Arabic Calligraphy, Zulfar has also undertaken lessons in Ebru in Istanbul and South Africa. She is currently studying the Thuluth & Naskh Scripts in the Ottoman tradition and Arabic Calligraphy in Chinese Style under Master Calligrapher Haji Noor Deen.
Sare Güngördü is a translator at Deen Arts Foundation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies from Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University in Istanbul. She teaches and speaks Turkish, English, and Arabic. Currently, she is working at IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation and completing her master’s at Marmara University.
Hatice Sak is a translator at Deen Arts Foundation. She is an independent student and translator/interpreter. She studied English Language Teaching at Sabahattin Zaim University and completed her MA in Civilization Studies at Ibn Haldun University in 2019. She loves Islamic arts and is thrilled to be part of the Deen Arts Foundation.
Yasmine Ahmed is a translator at Deen Arts Foundation. She has studied Quran and Arabic in Egypt and has Ijazah in 4 variant readings of The Quran. She teaches in the UK alongside being a calligraphy student of Master Calligrapher Haji Noor Deen Hoca in the Thuluth and Naskh Scripts.